Lago Vista Independent School District (LVISD)

 

November 11, 2010 LVPOA BOD meeting gets hot, but I finally get some answers. For one Dave Freeman said they dropped the asking price from $1.6 million to $950,000 while saying we didn't have to sell. Nancy Oliver sets up the COLV Committee (we find out later - park lease). Blaine Standiford reacts...

When you're reading these, I hope you'll use your active thought processes to ask yourself some questions. Wouldn't an honest broker with no agenda simply answer questions? Are these logical responses to rational questions? Do the responses answer or obfuscate? Why would a new director react so strongly to things that happened before his arrival? Why would a new director confront me after the meeting, after all the facts were out, and I had been proven correct? And so on.

Back in October, several directors had said it was a matter for the new board. I had folllowed this from June until November. I still did not have an answer about the future of the park. So it had to wait. In the last post you can see where I did send emails to the new 2011 Board asking questions to fix the problem and see where they stood. You can see from the emails in that post, they didn't want to answer my questions, it was a denial instead. Blaine Standiford emailed for the new Board even though he was new and not on the old board.

For months, the 2010 board kept trying to give me half answers that would leave me with an impression but not really answer the question, in my view. You can read them in all the posts and decide for yourself. Since I didn't get answers I went to this meeting to get them there. I was tired of the runaround so I was intentionally being very detailed and very specific to make it harder to not understand. It was time to get some answers, if that were possible.

Things were strange in the last post, but they get really off the rails strange here, until 2 meetings later, when we found out about the park lease discussions. Then it made sense.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: I had already confirmed the private park sale meeting, three of the five board members knew they had told me to wait until the new board was seated. Three of the current board members had been involved since June as 2010 board members.

As I said in the last post, I had a hunch, later proved correct in with the park lease discussions, that the issue wasn't really dead. Events would prove me right. That was no psychic feat. It derived from the simple question, if it's over why not just say so and be done with it?

The November 11, 2010 LVPOA Board of Directors meeting began with a chance to ask questions not on the agenda. I reiterated that I'd been asking questions for months, and did not have some straight answers to date. I tried to ask my questions on parks and the books. Blaine tried to shut me down by saying he'd answered it in an email. I told him I'd responded in my email that he didn't answer my questions. He also mentioned Karen's email which I'd not seen yet, and I told him so. Later, I saw her email, it only referenced the books, not the parks, it was in my inbox in the middle of many messages in my inbox, and apparently arrived that same evening before the meeting when I was working with other emails. (Note: the books issue was a misunderstanding resolved here this night, it is only mentioned here because it is on the tape of this meeting.)

There was a lot of quick back and forth's with several people talking. This went on for several minutes. You can listen to the tape. It shows the most effort was expended trying to make me look silly for asking about the parks. That effort continued through the entire meeting.

Actually, that bears mentioning because it's a tactic they use. It happens whenever the person asking has a good point that they don't like, and they need a distraction. You can see it for yourself in some of the emails where it worked on me for a while.

They knew a private meeting, or whatever the label, had failed. A public meeting had been requested. Gary had said they wanted a public meeting but the Mayor wanted one behind closed doors which by definition is a private one. You can read that in the North Lake Travis Log here. Mayor Randy Kruger turned them down flat as documented in the North Lake Travis Log. You can read that in the North Lake Travis Log here. As we found out later, Mayor Kruger said ok again when there was another private one, or work session, about the park lease.

Private, yes. Public, no. Private, yes. Proving these directors knew exactly what a private meeting meant when the Mayor wanted to meet them in one.

My point is they were attempting a distraction and they know it. They knew which meeting I was talking about. If you've read all these posts, you know it too.

But here we were with Dave Freeman, Nancy Oliver, and Blaine Standiford denying a meeting even existed. Blaine hadn't been there, so his denial was puzzling until we later found out about the park lease and his involvement with it.

The directors continued denying it for a few minutes.

The denials stopped immediately when I pulled out my copy of the July 08, 2010 1:39 PM Gary Gates email from my notebook. It's the one about the meeting that says in part "The Board is starting to force the city's hand by asking for a PUBLIC MEETING with the city and council. Mr. Kruger says OK, but wants the meeting private. We are saying no way, PUBLIC. We offered to sell the city Green Shores Park , under used and next to city property for a Fair market value of around $950,000. Thant [sic] would go a long way toward building a new Activity Center . Mr. Kruger said no, not interested, but the POA should give the City Bar K of a $1. I think you see why more folks need to get involved." Obviously they could not read what I pulled out. But, they saw me pull out a printout. I suspect they believed I was about to enter something into the official record.

Suddenly there were confessions! Imagine that! All of it is on tape. It was like a switch flipped. They stopped denying the meeting ever occurred the instant that paper came out, and started explaining what had happened in the meeting.

All the sudden their statements were oh, THAT meeting, well it wasn't secret, it was a work session, etc.

Before we move on to what was said, this is important, that point is worth pondering. If that one word was their only problem with my statements, why didn't they simply answer me from the beginning by answering me saying, here is what occurred in our work session and then tell the story.

But, that is not what happened. They were stonewalling the question, and trying to ridicule me for asking. Before you think it was a momentary confusion, remember this had been under discussion for months, including recent emails 1 and 2 days before this very meeting. Jo Anne had emailed not knowing about any secret meeting, only work sessions. At the time I thought she was referring to the Tuesday work session which occurs before the Thursday BOD meetings. I had replied to her with the details of the meeting I was referring to, and when she didn't respond I figured she didn't know about that meeting. At the time I did not think anything was nefarious but that was before the lease. But, once I'd sent details of the meeting I was talking about to her, at that point everyone knew which meeting I was talking about. You can read those emails in a prior post. In this meeting, Dave, and Nancy were distracting and knew exactly what meeting I was talking about. They knew Mayor Kruger wanted it private, as in out of the public eye, which is also commonly called secret in common verbiage. So, I believe it is disingenuous for them to say they could not make the connection between secret, private, and work session by the time of this meeting. You can read my posts and their emails over the past few months, and decide for yourself what you think.

Dave Freeman admitted the meeting occurred before the public one was planned or announced and that they met intentionally without a quorum so there wasn't a requirement to be public. Dave admitted they were talking about a park sale with no appraisal, and the Mayor Randy Kruger did make an offer of $1. There is some question of if it was serious or a joke.

It had been true all along and now it was out in the open and is now on tape.

History has proved we didn't have to sell – yet, his words that night, in that Board of Directors meeting November 11, 2010, Dave Freeman said they dropped the asking price from $1.6 million to $950,000, and at the same time reiterated we didn't have to sell.

That is a seller discussing a drop of $650,000 with a potential buyer on a property the POA has admitted it did not need to sell, without public notice to see if anyone else anywhere in the world might be interested in paying the asking price, perhaps even more.

A board of directors of a private company is supposed to treat the companies resources with at least as much diligence as they would treat their own. Would you sell your lot without an appraisal for well under what you thought it was worth, without trying to get offers on the open market?

Dave Freeman said in the meeting they dropped the asking price for the park from $1.6 million to $950,000 because it is on the flood plain. That's not reasonable. Many houses are on the flood plain, and that is already factored in. This has been a known issue for some time, and should have already factored into area values. Second, being on the flood plain argues for leaving it as unimproved park land so that it doesn't matter if it floods, it's a park again once it dries out and the trash gets cleaned off.

They even tried to make me look foolish because I wanted to do what one normally does with real estate, which is to get an appraisal, then put it on the open market, and wait for buyers to come to make confidential offers. They ridiculed me and told me it doesn't work that way. Really? How did you sell your last home? Private sales are great as long as they are for fair market value so the seller and buyer exchange a fair price. This was a discussion of a private sale of LVPOA shared property, with a huge markdown for an invalid reason, when we didn't need to sell.

Blaine continued to deny this, going into unrelated stories like someone he knew about who had used a cash envelope or something to that effect. I'm not really sure on that one because I kept saying Not these people. Not these people. I don't know if he was serious, or referring to my books question, or simply trying to run out the clock to end the discussion. Either way, I simply wanted to get back to the parks topic under discussion before moving on to books.

The open books question was a follow up on several people's ideas about why could we not have people able to look at the detailed books, in addition to the summaries we already get, to make suggestions. It turns out we could all along, the idea we couldn't had been a misunderstanding. We hadn't established it was a misunderstanding yet because we were talking about the park, but that was resolved in Karen's email that I had not seen, and that was resolved in this meeting. I put it here in the narrative only because it is on the tape of the meeting, we resolved it in a mixed in way with other items, and I want it to be clear it has been resolved. We discussed the parks some more, and resolved the books question.

Once those issues were closed they went on to regular agenda items with more sniping at me from the board.

You'd think that my being proved right would stop the snipes but it didn't. It was obvious they did not like getting caught, not one bit.

Even after we'd completed the park and books questions and moved off of it onto the official prepared agenda their efforts continued. The ridiculing continued through the rest of the meeting where Dave Freeman, Nancy Oliver, and Blaine Standiford kept inserting comments against me in several topics in lame attempts to make me look foolish. I am not the only one to experience this. They act like they can bully people into submission. Sometimes it works with others, but not with me. Several times, I simply pointed out how they were sniping despite the fact that everything I'd said all along had now been proven true.

Nancy was angrily insistent when it came to the COLV Committee. Nancy angrily insisted it had to be formed and snipped at me saying her bit about it. In retrospect I understand why. It was to become the mechanism for the lease shortly. Perhaps she was trying to draw me out, to see what I knew, or perhaps she was simply frustrated. Either way, I knew nothing about a lease at that time.

Nancy said this committee was a way to keep the lines of communication open. She was billing it this way despite a heated exchange moments earlier on the parks, and I didn't know the lease would occur later. Several of them gave the impression that during the election people had voted for the POA to get along better with the City and reduce misunderstandings so in their mind we needed this committee to do it.

In several forms, I have mentioned to this Board and the City that if they would each mind their own buisness they would get along fine which is how it works in other cities.

This is the exact same committee that was later involved with the parks lease. It was being formed in the same meeting where minutes ago they were telling me park deals were dead, done, over.

I should have known better but I didn't. I thought once all the information was out, and if I could actually get them to say it was over, which had just occurred in the meeting, that issues with the parks and city would be over. But it wasn't as we've all seen since.

Is it reasonable that Nancy would be so insistent when it came to the COLV Committee if she didn't have plans for the future?

For what it's worth, I received word they are saying in private the park lease is over now. But is it over? I doubt it. Will they say the park lease is dead in the next LVPOA Board of Directors meeting this week? I don't know, but they probably will. And why not, it worked before, just tell people it's over, then start something and call it new. It worked when the prior board told me a park deal was dead. It worked to stall me for months until the new board was seated. It worked this night when the new board told me a park deal was dead while in the same meeting they were setting up the very committee that would work on a park lease within 2 months of this meeting right in front of me.

Is it reasonable that Dave, Nancy, and Blaine would have these hostile reactions if they didn't have plans for the future? Do you think they still don't? In March 2011, I found out from a petition attachment that Blaine had put on his facebook page there were plans for this park, Cody, and Boggy Ford.

It is very important to notice I said they denied it until I pulled out the email. If I'd not had that email ready I do not believe they would have ever answered. I think it's important to notice they told me a park deal was dead in the same meeting they're setting up a mechanism which discusses a lease. I think it's important to notice that several of the same names keep popping up.

Blaine Standiford even accosted me after the meeting to deny it further, even though we were outside the meeting where it had just been discussed in open session and on tape.

Blaine's denials are even more interesting now in retrospect, because we've since discovered he is player in the park lease discussions. The park lease discussions were in the COLV committee which was Blaine, Nancy, Mayor Randy Kruger, and LVISD as reported in the January 13, 2011 LVPOA BOD meeting minutes just 2 months after this one. To be reported two months later, means there was only 1 intervening board meeting and 1 intervening COLV committee meeting. This night was the November meeting, then there was the December meeting, followed with the bullet note in the January meeting minutes.

Here in their own words just - 2 meetings later - following that November 11, 2010 meeting the BOD had created the POA "COLV committee" and already had one meeting and just one board meeting. Here is note 12 from the minutes on line "MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING LAGO VISTA PROPERTY OWNERS' ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS January 13, 2011" originally at http://www.lvpoa.org/Minutes/Minutes.html

12. COLV Committee: This Committee's members; Nancy Oliver, Blaine Standiford, Deborah Sorchevich and LVISD Matt Underwood will have their second meeting with the City on Monday. The first meeting went very well. It is Ms. Oliver's desire to work with these two other entities wherein the POA can use some of its land and they can use some of their monies to create new facilities. The City's Mayor and his group have been very receptive and it is Ms. Oliver's hope to have a good working relationship between the three entities.

Immediately following the current November 11, 2010 meeting discussed above Blaine accosted me outside the meeting room. He was still denying the park meeting, even though he was sitting right there in the meeting with me when it was all said.

I repeatedly offered to go back inside with him to talk with Dave since Dave was still there. Blaine repeatedly said no.

I repeatedly offered to go back inside with him to listen to the tape of the meeting we were just in. Blaine repeatedly said no.

Blaine asked for proof. I offered to send it to him. I did send it to him. It was the timestamped emails of the private meeting and the open meeting.

I finished the November 12, 2010 7:14 PM email to Blaine with "At this point, if you are an honest person you will review the tape, and the proof, and will admit my facts were correct all along, and desist in calling me a liar in the future."

To date Blaine never responded. Wouldn't an honest person see timestamped emails and reply, yes, you were right?

Also, little did I know the park lease would come up a few months later with Blaine and Nancy involved which would reopen the issue.

There is a lot more to that email. That's a topic for another post.